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About the Faculty

The University of the Witwatersrand Faculty of Health Sciences, located in Johannesburg - the hub of the South African economy, offers a real-world training experience that prepares students for a future in the healthcare sector across the globe.

Undergraduate teaching programmes in the Faculty are student-centred, internationally recognised, socially responsive and exemplify excellence in all dimensions. Approximately 600 health sciences professionals graduate each year and are sought-after, both nationally, regionally and globally. Students who wish to undertake professional degrees in health sciences are offered nine different undergraduate programmes to choose from. In addition, the Faculty boasts a unique programme, the Graduate Entry Medical Programme, which allows students with tertiary qualifications degrees to enter into the Medical degree in the third year of the programme.

Once you have graduated from the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences, you may look to further your studies through our various postgraduate training and research programmes.

The Faculty is highly cognisant of - and responsive to - the healthcare challenges facing South Africa. Our clinicians and researchers selflessly choose to work in the public sector, where they strive to understand and develop solutions addressing the pressing healthcare concerns of our country. Staff and students are offered the opportunity to make a lasting contribution to the health and wellbeing of communities both locally and across our borders.

The Faculty provides excellent support and an intellectually stimulating environment for the training of postgraduate students. Through postgraduate research and training programmes, you could contribute to solutions that address some of the major challenges such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and diseases of lifestyle.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is well known for its internationally recognised, cutting-edge research, which is conducted through 18 research entities and a Centre of Excellence, five DST/NRF South African Research Chairs and many individual researchers who are involved in relevant basic and applied research in all fields of health sciences. 

The Faculty comprises seven Schools. These are in the disciplines of Clinical Medicine, Therapeutic Sciences, Oral Health Sciences, Public Health, Pathology, Anatomical Sciences and Physiology.

The School of Clinical Medicine (SoCM) is the largest school in the Faculty with nine departments and about 40 divisions, which include sub-specialities. The SoCM trains its undergraduate and postgraduate students at a number of teaching platforms including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, the Helen Joseph Academic Hospital and the Rahima Moosa Hospital, bringing the total number of beds serviced in these hospitals to approximately 6 000.The SoCM prides itself on the high throughput of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students. In addition, the School's candidates constitute the majority of those sitting for the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) Examinations, with a pass rate often above CMSA average. The SoCM hosts four recognised centres, with the Centre for Rural Health and the Steve Biko Bioethics Centre being pillars of the Faculty's social accountability stance, addressing matters of access to health care for all South Africans.

The Wits School of Public Health (WSPH) enjoys an exceptional national and international reputation in teaching, research, academic service and partnerships. The School's endeavours reflect its values of academic excellence, diversity, equity, human rights, social justice and responsiveness to the population health needs of South Africa and Africa. The 80 full-time academics in the School are from different disciplinary backgrounds that range from the social to the bio-medical sciences, enhancing multi-disciplinary approaches essential for public health. WSPH academic activities are also supported by more than 100 honorary staff members.

The staff, students and partners of the School of Therapeutic Sciences are committed to inquiry, the search for knowledge and excellence in teaching and service provision. The academic departments in the School have a rich history steeped in the traditions of professional education. In 2013 the Nursing Department celebrated their 76th Anniversary, the Physiotherapy Department celebrated their 75th Anniversary and the Occupational Therapy celebrated their 70th anniversary.

The School of Pathology provides excellence in pathology in the form of service, teaching and research. It has responsibilities to the Faculty of Health Sciences and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) with staff offered dual appointments within both. The School contributes to the public health in South Africa through the provision of cost-effective, high-quality diagnostic laboratory services to the public sector.

The School of Oral Health Sciences is a leader in Dental Education in South Africa. It qualified the first dentists trained in South Africa in 1927, and continues to graduate thousands of oral health care experts, whether as dentists, oral hygienists or specialists, making a significant contribution to the oral health of the community.The Wits Dental Hospital is located within the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and offers affordable quality health care to all individuals at any age. Primary Dental care is provided comprehensively by the undergraduate students of the School who are under the close supervision of experienced faculty members. The School also supports extensive oral health care services to distant communities, through initiatives such as The Transnet-Phelophepa Health Care Train, hosted by the Transnet Foundation.

The School of Physiology is the largest entity teaching physiology in South Africa and plays a significant role in the training of physiologists. The School has approximately 1000 students registered for its courses and contributes to the teaching of more than 500 other students.The School houses three University-recognised research entities namely the Brain Function Research Group, the Cardiovascular Pathophysiology and Genomics Research Unit and the Bone Research Laboratory.

The School of Anatomical Sciences currently comprises three academic divisions, namely morphological anatomy, structural biology (histology), and biological anthropology. Undergraduate students are instructed on the structure and development of the human body, in addition to human biology and cell biology. The current research activities of the School are broad, covering the fields of Biological Anthropology, Comparative Neurosciences, Adult Neurogenesis, and Reproductive Biology. The Human Variation and Identification Research Unit (HIRU)offers a professional forensic anthropological and archaeological service of the highest international standard.